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  • Overview

    Although Utah's population is the youngest in the nation, Utah lacks Gen-Z and Millenial representation and participation in government.

    The Emerging Leaders Initiative (ELI) of Utah aims to elevate the voice and impact of young Utahns (ages 18-35ish) in their local, state and national governments.


    Why are Young Leaders Important?

    Millennials are the largest-ever generation. Combined with Gen-Z, Millennials the group makes up the largest voting block in the State of Utah. Unfortunately, only 11 percent of Utahns ages 18-35 voted in 2012, far below the 30 percent of our peers that voted nationwide in 2012. Additionally, less than 2 percent of federal-level elected officials are millennials. Extremely low voter participation and underwhelming public service is crippling our ability to contribute to the greater community both civically and politically.


    The Mission of ELI

    The Emerging Leaders Initiative is built on the principle that effectively mentoring current and future generations of “emerging leaders” can improve Utah's communities and quality of life. By creating a space for collaborative mentorship and communication between current and emerging leaders, ELI seeks to empower the young leaders, shakers and doers ages 18-35ish to join in policy discussions and help shape Utah's political, cultural, and economic future.


    Our goal is to increase participation of our generation and future generations in the policy debates of our time. We need younger voices to speak up, to vote, to run for office, and to engage their government. With the involvement of bright and innovative minds in our generation, government decisions will be more deliberative and meaningful.

  • Board of Directors

    Achievers. Dreamers. Doers.

    Kelsey Price


    ELI Chair

    Foreign policy junkie passionate about creating impact through public-private collaborations. Gif enthusiast. Literary aficionado.

    Cate Klundt

    Utah Realtors Association

    ELI Vice Chair

    Henrie Walton

    Senator Mitt Romney

    ELI Secretary

    Dixie State University

    Southern Utah native. Gov. relations & Institute of Politics @ Dixie State. LSE grad. CNN, not ESPN.

    Don Willie

    Dixie State Innovation Cntr.


    Salt Lake native. Husband and Father. U of U MPA. International. Entrepreneur. Community advocate. UB 20 in their 20's.

    Silvia Catten

    Millcreek City Council

    ELI MARCOM Director

    Local government enthusiast. Utah native and adventurer.

    UofU and WGU grad.

    Community is everything.

    Surviving mostly on coffee.

    Jeffrey VanHulten

    State Board of Education

    ELI Legal Director

    Politically purple policy junkie. U Law 2013. Sundance Film Festival fanatic. Pro eater. Amateur chef. Sports student. Aspiring dog owner.

    Shannon Ellsworth

    Rural Consultant

    ELI Engagement Director

    Local gov consultant and MBA. Provo Planning Commissioner. Rural expert. Faithful Aggie. Happy Feminist. Loves policy not politics.

    Mario Organista

    SL Community College

    ELI Diversity Director

    Proud Mexican-American. UofU grad. Moderate politico. PACE Advisor @ SLCC. Youth advocate, community activist.

    Jazz, Utes, anything soccer.

  • Advisory Board

    Advocates. Mentors. Awesome.

    Lt. Governor Spencer Cox

    The State of Utah

    Senator Luz Escamilla

    Utah Senate

    Rob Brough

    Zions Bank

    Natalie Gochnour

    Gardner Policy Institute

    Allyson Isom

    The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints

    Stan Lockhart


    Pat Jones

    Women's Leadership Institute

    Kirk Jowers


    Boyd Matheson

    Deseret News

    Jason Perry

    The Hinckley Institute of Politics

    Courtney McBeth

    The University of Utah

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